It’s weird how the U.S. presidential election is getting virtually no press. Well, we want to make sure you’re aware of the important issues before heading into the voting booth. And what’s more important than snacks?
The Republican Party nominee for President of the United States…
…sorry, whenever we hear that, our eyes glaze over and we wake up in our happy place. It involves a grassy meadow, unicorns, and an endless supply of snacks.
So in September, Donald Trump’s offspring Donald Trump Jr. tweeted his two cents on allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S. It went like this:
While we’re sure the message made Daddy proud, it pissed off a lot of other folks, including the maker of the delicious candy that allows you to taste the rainbow. “Skittles are candy. Refugees are people. We don’t feel it’s an appropriate analogy,” said Vice President of Corporate Affairs Denise Young. “We will respectfully refrain from further commentary as anything we say could be misinterpreted as marketing.”
Then there was former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh, who accused Don Jr. of lifting the idea from his Twitter.
And now, there’s the case of the image used in that tweet—the actual bowl of Skittles. Chicago artist David Kittos created the copyrighted image titled “White Bowl of Candy” in 2010, which was uploaded to his Flickr account, and says it was used without his permission. The photo was not only used in Jr.’s tweet but also in an online ad for the Trump/Pence campaign, so Kittos is now suing Trump, his campaign, his running mate Michael Pence, and Trump Jr.
“Each piece of candy in the photograph is randomly placed inside of the bowl, allowing their bright and boastful colors to become the centerpiece of the image,” Kittos said in the lawsuit. “It would be beyond difficult to accurately re-create such a vivid image, given the challenge of replicating the exact lighting and exposure of the image, as well as assembling the arrangement of the candies.”
Kittos says Trump’s usage of the image “is reprehensibly offensive” and he is especially unhappy that it is being used to equate refugees to poison because he himself is a refugee from Cyprus “who was forced to flee his home at the age of six years old.”
Subsequent retweets and shares of the image caused “an epidemic of third-party infringement of the photograph,” Kittos continues. He is seeking undisclosed damages and an injunction against further use of his image.
Speaking of snacks, remember the acid-trip-type commercials Skittles used to churn out?